Inspired Words

These are the experiences of our volunteers in Nepal.

March 25: Full and enriching start to the experience

Posted in Nepal on March 26, 2013

Today was the first day helping to build the school classrooms in Dang. We
arrived on site in the morning and were greeted by a group of women
and a schoolyard full of children. The women wore bright coloured
saris and headresses. They welcomed us in respect by marking our
foreheads with a pink dusty paint and adorned us with flower
necklaces. In turn we did the same. They shook flower pedals over our
heads and let us try on their headresses. We laughed and exchanged
words through translation. The children surrounded us watching our
every move. They are very shy but curious.

We were introduced to our contractor who got us to work putting
together beams for the building. The sense of time here is relaxed so
we have the opportunity to breach the cultural divide and share with
the women and children. I was able to teach some of the sponsored
girls common hand games from my childhood. I taught two of them so
that they could play and then teach their friends. It was fun to
engage with the children and make them laugh and experience something
new. They are learning English in school so it was fun trying to get
them out of their shyness and play a game with me. I saw the little
girls later practicing their "paddy cake" game.

At lunch we were served delicious meals on home-made plant bowls. The
food was delicious and nourishing. We were all hungry at this point
and were all very grateful to be fed. The little girls I was playing
with earlier kept poking their heads inside to watch us eat.
Afterwards when I was grabbing my camera from the van, I met the
littlest girl who has down-syndrome and is five years old. The
education and services for her special needs are not known here in
Nepal. She is very smart and loving and climbed all over me. She
smelled of something sweet like baked goods and liked to try on my
work gloves and play with my flower necklace.

After putting together a few more beams and discussing the work to be
done for the rest of the week, we packed up our garlands of flowers
and made it back to the hotel to rest.

All I can say is that there is no way to plan for this kind of a trip.
It is a full and enriching experience that you have to get into with
no expectations. I feel so lucky to be here and grateful to have
signed up. I really truly appreciate all of the luxury I have in
Canada and am happy to give my time and energy to provide more
opportunity to the women and children of Nepal.

There's no way to plan for it in your head. You just have to jump in
and see where it takes you!

Chelsea Elizabeth Vickers
DWC Participant
Nepal, March 2013

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